The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said it was committed to closely monitor the campaigns of political parties and their candidates in pursuant to ensure compliance with extant laws and regulations.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at the commission’s regular meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) held at INEC headquarters in Abuja.
Yakubu said that the monitoring was necessary as campaign for the 2019 Presidential election officially commenced on Nov. 18.
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“The commission is committed to closely monitoring the campaigns pursuant to our statutory mandate and to ensure compliance with the extant laws and regulations.
“We are pleased that the focus in the last few days since the commencement of the campaigns has been on policies rather than personalities. We sincerely hope it remains this way.”
Yakubu said that the commission had been working on the clean-up of the voter registers, which made it to recently display the register in all polling units nationwide for claims and objections by citizens.
“The objective was for citizens to help the commission to identify any ineligible registrants such as persons below the statutory age of 18 years and non-Nigerians who may have registered as well as deceased persons and multiple registrants.
“At today’s meeting, the RECs will report on the outcome of the exercise in their various states. We will share this with the general public next week.”
“We will also discuss with the RECs the progress made on the collection of outstanding Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) by citizens as well as new modalities for a more efficient administration of the collection process.’’
Yakubu said the meeting would also consider the recruitment and training of election duty staff, discuss the ongoing review of the framework for voting by Internally Displaced Persons (lDPs).
“We will explore additional assistive measures in support of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the electoral process.
“We will also examine additional ways to safeguard the sanctity of the ballot against the menace of vote-buying at polling units, appraise issues relating to electoral logistics and assess facilities and preparations for the general election.”
Yakubu also disclosed that the list of candidates for the Area Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be published in its FCT office as well as the six area councils on Wednesday.
The commission, however, appealed to citizens to check the personal details of the chairmanship and councillorship candidates seeking to represent them for each of the 68 constituencies as a matter of civic responsibility.
Yakubu noted that the submission of nomination forms of candidates for governorship and state assembly elections had closed, saying that the last day for the substitution and withdrawal of candidates for the elections was Dec. 1.
He expressed the commission’s condolence on the loss of its four members in Kogi and Edo states, respectively, to road accident.
“Similarly, two of our members of staff survived road accidents in Katsina State during the bye-election last weekend and another one suffered a head injury while on election duty following attack by hoodlums in Kwara.
“We are deeply saddened by these incidents. While we pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives, we wish the injured a speedy recover.
“We will work with the security agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the attack on our staff and vandalism of election materials.” (NAN)